Have you discovered Walt Disney World’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort? If not, then you are missing out on a treat. While it is not exactly representative of what you will find in Hawaii at a luau, it still presents a fun-filled experience for the whole family. My daughter and I go once about every year as it has become a tradition, and we always find something new or that we missed in previous shows. The basic premise is that one of the local girls is headed to the “mainland” for college and Auntie Wini is hosting a luau to say goodbye. The bonus? You’re invited!
Guests are greeted at Luau Cove, which is near the beach, with a lei and a photo op – cast members will find you at your table later to allow you to review the pictures and purchase if you wish. Soon after being seated in the open-air theater, the all-you-care-to-eat meal, served family style, starts rolling out. It starts with appetizers such as pineapple-coconut bread, fresh salad with mango-poppy seed vinaigrette and Asian slaw. Next you move on to the main platter which includes island pulled pork, BBQ ribs, roasted chicken and a vegetable medley. Dessert is the star with warm pineapple bread pudding drizzled in caramel sauce. There is a limited kids’ menu of corn dogs, pizza, grilled chicken or mahi mahi. Soft drinks, lemonade, coffee and other non-alcoholic beverages are included and guests 21 years of age and up can enjoy beer and wine which are also included. Guests can also purchase specialty drinks such as a Tropical Rum Punch, served in a carved coconut which is yours to keep!
The show is threaded throughout the courses with breaks during the serving of appetizers, main dishes and dessert. Auntie Wini and crew throw a fun bash complete with audience participation, Polynesian language lessons and spirited banter. There is even a part of the show where the children or keiki (pronounced ka-key) are invited up to the stage and taught a hula – just adorable! I won’t give away any other surprises, but laughs abound, plus if you go at Christmas time a very special visitor makes a surprise appearance to dance with the keiki.
While the main cast stays in character as the locals sending one of their own off to a new adventure, they easily transform to traditional island dancers and beautifully present the native dances of Polynesia … with dances from Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand and Hawaii. The costumes are intricately detailed and the fire dancer is both thrilling and amazing.
Advance reservations are highly recommended and can be made up to 180 days prior. Be sure to reserve early. Not only do spots fill up fast, but seating is assigned on a first come, first served basis with those booking early getting the best tables in their selected category. You can select from three different seating options with each incremented category costing less than the previous one. But keep in mind Category 3 does not have the same prime view as Category 1.
Tickets are available for pick-up immediately after a reservation has been confirmed online at any Walt Disney World Resort Guest Relations, Guest Services or Resort Concierge desk. For same-day box office pick-up, be sure to arrive 40 minutes prior to show time. Dress is casual and shorts are permitted at this show. Disney notes that the show will only cancel for temperatures falling below 50 degrees.
On your next Disney vacation consider giving the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show a try!